“Providing highway safety resources in a streamlined, user-friendly format is so important to continuing our mission to reach zero deaths on our roadways,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “We appreciate all of the input that went into redesigning the website and will continue to find new ways to educate and engage all Marylanders.”
In 2020, 574 fatalities occurred on Maryland roadways, and every year the same factors cause most fatal crashes: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and speeding. Other key factors in traffic fatalities include failure to wear a seat belt; failure to look twice for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists; failure to use a crosswalk; inexperience of young drivers; and the potential decline in health of older drivers. Together, such factors resulted in more than 1,600 fatalities over the past three years. The motivation to identify and overcome these factors led the development of emphasis areas that are highlighted on the new website, along with resources on how to combat unsafe driving behaviors.
The new website includes crash data displayed in easy-to-read charts, broken out by statewide metrics. Major crash causes and jurisdictional breakdowns of crash data can assist agencies with identifying areas of concern. Additional databases including the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), can be quickly accessed via links.
A digital resource library includes monthly toolkits developed for partners across the state. These kits feature copy and creative ideas for social media – specifically Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – with a filter that allows users to quickly locate tools by program theme.
“Sharing resources and information about highway safety and the impact of dangerous driving behavior is critical to support our law enforcement partners and the public,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “The new website is an important educational and motivational tool, and sends the message that we all must work together to reach the goal of zero highway deaths.”
Each year, the Maryland Highway Safety Office provides more than $11 million in state and federal grant funding to more than 90 traffic safety-related organizations and law enforcement agencies across the state. The new website provides guidance for both general safety and law enforcement grants, including a ‘How to Apply’ section and a recap on awardees of the most recent fiscal year.
The website also is home to the state’s most recent Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), which went into effect earlier this year. The SHSP utilizes a data-driven approach to build effective strategies, create action steps, and establish performance measures to help achieve our goal of zero roadway deaths. The latest iteration builds on the experience, efforts, and successes of previous SHSPs and is valid through 2025.
To see an overview of the new features on the website, click here. Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.